Dutch government announces measures in response to Ugandan anti-gay law

The government is to take measures against Uganda following President Museveni’s decision to sign legislation toughening penalties for homosexuality earlier today. Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans expressed bitter disappointment at the move. 'International pressure has unfortunately failed to deter him', he said. 'This is a dark day for human rights in Uganda'.

The Netherlands considers the new law unacceptable for a number of reasons. Above all it conflicts with the international human rights conventions to which Uganda is party. The adoption of this legislation therefore has implications for the Netherlands’ relations with the Ugandan government. Mr Timmermans also plans to propose international measures, for example in the framework of the EU.

The Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, has suspended Dutch aid to the Ugandan government, which consists of support for the justice sector. Dutch support to civil society in Uganda will be continued.

The Dutch embassy in Kampala is in close contact with the LGBT community in Uganda, partly with a view to exploring how the Netherlands can best support LGBTs there.